Issue #42 Home Automation May 11, 2005


Contents: Issue #42
Home Automation

  1. Basics: Glossary, Options, Home Networks, Integration
  2. Markets: Preferences, Active Adults, Aging & Disabled
  3. Products: Standards, Product Buyer’s Guide, Find Installers
  4. Planning: Design, Timing The Installation, Installation Team
  5. Wiring: Structured Wiring, Installation, Existing Powerlines
  6. Issues: Technology Closet, Energy, Tech Home Rating
  7. More: Education, Free Newsletter, Books, Online Videos
  8. Ken’s Top Picks: If You Have Time To Surf Only Two Sites

1. Basics: Glossary, Options, Home Networks, Integration

Glossary of Terms
Are you lost in the new and strange terminology used in the home and building automation industry? This glossary from Parks Associates covers many unique acronyms and terms.

Home & Building Automation Options
Various home and large building functions can be automated. Click on Home Automation or Building Automation above the CABA diagrams then mouse over the labels for explanations.

Guide To Home Networks
The Consumer Electronics Association has an online guide with detailed information on entertainment, communications, computing, Safety & security, and home control possibilities.

Home Integrators Expertise & Certification
10 areas of expertise home integrators can offer, certifications they can obtain, and a paper on the market for such services, are available in this CNET Quick Guide To Home Integration.


2. Markets: Preferences, Active Adults, Aging & Disabled

Survey On Tech Rules for Both Buyers & Builders
Check out this "State of the Builder" survey from BuildingOnLine, if you are wondering what technology consumers prefer, and their perceptions of builders’ roles are.

Active Adult Opportunities
TecHome Builder summarizes results of the recent NAHB Seniors Housing Symposium. They found that active adults could be a prime market for new home technology products.

Elderly & Disabled Smart House Project
Tour this laboratory house project from the Research Center on Technology for Successful Aging to see options being tested for assisting the elderly & disabled. Click “Virtual Tour”.


3. Products: Standards, Product Buyer’s Guide, Installers

Home Automation/Network Standards & Specs
There are many different home automation/network standards and specs for system components to communicate with each other. Home Toys provides a good overview and links here.

Buyer's Guide With Products & Manufacturers
Looking for products and/or manufacturers? Check out the online Buyers Guide from CE Pro. It gives you a summary of each product and direct links to manufacturer Web sites.

Find System Designers & Installers
CEDIA (Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) has both designer and installer certification programs. Here you can search for a list of their members in your local area.


4. Planning: Design, Timing The Installation, The Team

Designing Integrated Home Networks
The computer network is a critical component of any system. Home Toys offers this article explaining design steps, key reasons to network, and different infrastructure devices.

Timing Home Technology Installation
To help you plan the installation timing, here is a great NAHB Show Handout from Eric Bodley of CEDIA. It includes key steps, a checklist, timeline graph, and sample schedule.

The Team Of Professional Installers
Electronic House Magazine describes how the team of professional installers help builders, renovators, and owners work through the maze of design options and onsite tasks.


5. Wiring: Structured Wiring, Installation, Powerline

New Structured Wiring Systems
Structured wiring can carry voice, video and data. This NAHB Toolbase brief gives you an overview of options, benefits & costs, limitations, with links to more information and suppliers.

How To Install Structured Wiring (PDF FILE)
Here is a good article from Hometech clearly detailing each step an experienced installer follows for selection, planning, purchasing, installing and testing structured wiring.

Powerline Systems Use Existing Wiring
Handy for renovations, the use of existing home wiring is an alternative to new wiring. The HomePlug Powerline Alliance site contains product and technology FAQs and more.


6. Issues: Technology Closet, Energy, Tech Home Rating

Build A Technology Closet
The mix of home and electronics wiring can be an unsightly mess. TecHome Builder suggests you consider building a technology closet to better serve current and future needs.

Home Automation Systems
Home automation systems can control a home's systems (e.g., sensors, wiring, appliances) from a single control center, and significantly benefit the efficiency of the whole home, its systems, or individual appliances, as explained in this Toolbase Services article.

Add Value With A Tech Home Rating (PDF FILE)
If you are thinking of using home automation or technology as a marketing feature, this simple TechHome Rating System (with 1-page form) from CEA might be worth a look.


7. More: Education, Free Newsletter, Books, Videos

Education Articles & Links
Automated Buildings, run by BC’s own Ken Sinclair, is an awesome site for those involved in large buildings. The education section has lots of articles and links to training.

Free Newsletter From TecHome Builder
TecHome Builder magazine offers a free newsletter to help you leverage technology to increase productivity and profit, and to bring newer technology products into your homes.

Books On Home Automation & Electronics
If you are looking for books on home automation check out the Home Electronic Ideas site. You’ll find other technology topic links under Books & Multimedia on the left panel.

Online Videos On Home Automation & Wiring
This section of Bob Vila’s site has lots of free online videos covering home automation, controls, structured wiring and more. The “6 Articles” link takes you to written summaries.


8. Ken’s Top Picks: Home Toys & Automated Buildings

For Home Automation: Home Toys
Home Toys is a great home technology site with an online Emagazine, archives of past issues, a Library of resources, links to other Web sites, new product reviews and more.

For Commercial Buildings: Automated Buildings
Automated Buildings is the best site for larger buildings. It has an online magazine, industry news, new and existing product info, education resources, directories of links, and more.


Dittie For Today: On Parenting

The only thing of value we can give kids is what we are, not what we have. 
      - Leo Buscaglia  




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